How does piles affect pregnancy?

Many women experience piles or hemorrhoids during pregnancy. The experience can be quite unpleasant with symptoms ranging from itching to painful bleeding episodes while passing stools. If proper precautions are not taken, hemorrhoids can become a recurrent problem throughout life. Fortunately, they are not dangerous and several remedies are available that can alleviate the symptoms.

Piles or hemorrhoids occur due to an enlargement of the veins in the rectal and anal region. When pressure is applied during a bowel movement they may rupture and cause the typical symptoms of bleeding. This happens quite often especially during the last trimester of pregnancy due to the pressure applied by the growing baby to the blood vessels in the pelvic region. Coupled with hormonal changes that affect the blood vessels, it can slow down the return of blood to the heart leading to pooling of blood in the veins thereby resulting in enlarged rectal veins. The result is hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids can get worse while straining during bowel movements. Constipation can aggravate it and make the passage of stools an extremely painful and unpleasant experience.

The first step to dealing with hemorrhoids during your pregnancy is to avoid constipation. This is accomplished by making certain changes to your diet. Get plenty of fiber by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Some women experience bloating or gas with an increased fiber intake. In this case, increase your fiber intake gradually. Make sure you drink plenty of water and keep yourself well hydrated throughout the day. Foods such as pears, bananas and prunes can help to soften stools and ease constipation.

Avoid pushing and straining during bowel movements and avoid sitting for long periods of time. Regular Kegel exercises where you repeatedly squeeze the muscles in the vaginal and rectal region can help strengthen these muscles.

Use a sitz bath to relieve pain. Do this several times a day for about 20 minutes each time. A sitz bath will help to relieve symptoms of itching, irritation and spasms of the sphincter muscles. You can buy a sitz bath from any pharmacy. Afterwards, make sure to pat yourself dry with a clean towel.

To relieve swelling, use an ice pack or a cold compress.

There are several creams and medications available for hemorrhoids that are safe to use during pregnancy. Ask your doctor for one that is most suitable for your condition.


answered by M W

Hemorrhoids or piles is common in pregnancy, as a result of constipation. Uterine pressure slows blood circulation, thereby resulting in swollen veins and bleeding. The hormonal change in pregnancy results in poor blood flow, causing blood vessels to stretch and relax. Piles, as such has no effect on pregnancy. But, the chances of bleeding after labour is a possibility. Pay attention to your diet and water intake. Take the guidance of your gynaecologist.

answered by r k

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